The long-awaited guidelines on the standard criteria for classification of hotels and other tourism facilities have been launched.
The guidelines are meant to align standards within the East African Community (EAC) partner states.
Speaking during the launch at Kigali Serena Hotel yesterday, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, noted that the standards and the imminent 10-year tourism master plan will go a long way in developing the country’s tourism sector.
She stressed that the tourism master plan, tourism policy, the tourism bill and the standards, will complement each other to enhance the industry’s smooth operation and give the region a competitive edge.
“They are bringing order on board in the tourism industry and the government of Rwanda is fully committed to the realization of these standards,” Nsanzabaganwa said.
Rossette Rugamba, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) deputy CEO in charge of Tourism and Conservation, noted that the event marked a sense of a great achievement.
“These (standards) are going to add value to Rwanda as an important tourist destination – and benefiting you the private sector and Rwandans in general,” Rugamba said.
Emmanuel Werabe, the RDB Director of Tourism explained that the criteria outlines basic requirements and maximum score that qualify an establishment for the award of the different levels on the star rating ranging from ‘One’ to ‘Five Star’.
The guiding principles in the classification include compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements, care for the local ecosystem and environmental conservation, respect for socio-cultural environment and support for local communities.
High health standards, professionalism in service delivery, degree of appeal, luxury and guest comfort offered, as well as safety and security of the premises, management, staff and their property, are other principle guidelines.
A hotel that passes for a five star in Rwanda will be expected to have the same quality of service and facilities as any other hotel with the kind of status in the region.